Generators can help power through outages

July 2, 2012 (ELMHURST, Ill.)

Rosati's Pizza might be the most popular restaurant in Elmhurst Monday night, if for no other reason than they are open, but they have a limited menu.

Much of the rest of the town is still without power.

"I threw about $500 worth of stuff away," said Dave Szymendera. "So (Monday), we're just running with our staple stuff."

Generators have been flying out the door at the Home Depot in Northlake.

They expected a shipment of 100 to be gone in a couple of hours.

The 5,000-watt generator is enough to power several appliances, including a refrigerator.

"For anyone who's dealing with a power outage, it will run your refrigerator, it will run a freezer, sump pump, some fans or whatever you need done," said Home Depot's Stacy Lupori.

"I've actually hit three stores and none of them have them," said customer Joe Palek. "I was very lucky to hit this Home Depot. It was my last stop and they only had one."

Large generators can power a whole house using natural gas.

Tom Orlando's company is booked for the next week installing them after the latest round of storms.

"When the power goes out, this thing starts by itself," he said. "It transfers the load so it keeps the ComEd guys safe. It runs everything in the house if you have it set up that way."

Elmhurst City Hall is running on a huge portable generator after it also lost power.

Inside the mayor's office, a ComEd employee is coordinating repairs.

"Our biggest concern right now is senior citizens," said Elmhurst mayor Pete DiCianni. "Elmhurst is the second-largest senior citizen community in DuPage County, so we've got cooling centers set up for them."

For those without power or a generator, doctors say you should probably get rid you most of your perishable food.

"You want to maintain your refrigerator temp at at least 40 degrees," said Dr. Karen Spangle. "Once you go above that, you shouldn't eat anything that's been over 40 degrees for more than two hours."

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